Can we have a nationwide poll to ban Madrassas?

published on April 4, 2006

AN OPINION poll comprising religious leaders, savants and intellectuals could now determine whether non-Hindus may enter the world famous Jagannath Temple at Puri.

A non-resident Indian (NRI) Manoj Padhi, residing in the United States, had requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to consider removal of the signboard, from the Lion’s Gate in front of the temple, that states that non-Hindus are barred from entering.

The Chief Minister had directed the State Law Department to collect opinion from the Sri Jagannath Te m p l e Managing Committee on the viability of Mr Padhi’s proposal. The Law Department took up the issue with the Temple Managing Committee, headed by the Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingh Deb.

The Law Department and the Temple Management Committee agreed to a countrywide opinion poll to decide on the proposal. A sub-committee has been formed to frame a suitable questionnaire which will be circulated among intellectuals, sadhus, mutt chiefs, senior sevayats and researchers all over the country. Their opinions, when received, will be discussed by the sub-committee before being passed on to the Temple Managing Committee for its final opinion on the proposal.

In his e-mail addressed to the Chief Minister, along with BJP State president Jual Oram, StateYouth Congress president Rohit Pujari and national president of the Aditya Bahini Dhananjaya Baidya, Mr Padhi had questioned the justification of barring non Hindus from entering the temple when the whole universe is regarded as one family in the Hindu religion.


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